March 1, 2024

Senator Schmitt, Senator Murray, and Reps. Sewell, Moylan Introduce New Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill to Improve Financial Literacy Training for Servicemembers

The SMART Save Act makes long overdue updates to improve DoD’s financial literacy training program, better preparing servicemembers and their families for their transition to civilian life.

WASHNGTON – Today, Senator Eric Schmitt along with Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), U.S. Representative Terri Sewell (D-AL-07),  and Delegate James Moylan (R-Guam), introduced the bipartisan Servicemembers Are Ready To (SMART) Save Act. This bill would make important and overdue updates to DoD’s mandatory financial literacy training: expanding the training to reach servicemembers of more ranks as well as military spouses:

“While serving as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I sought feedback from servicemembers, veterans, and military leaders across Missouri on how to improve lives during and after their time in the military. The SMART Save Act is a solid enhancement to an existing program – aimed to provide members of the military a critical baseline of financial literacy for a smooth transition back into civilian life. I’m proud to work across the aisle with Senator Murray on this commonsense legislation for our servicemembers,” said Senator Eric Schmitt.

“As the daughter of a World War II veteran, I take our nation’s responsibility to help servicemembers transition to civilian life seriously—making sure they are equipped with the tools and skills they need to succeed after their service,” said Senator Patty Murray. “Financial literacy is a huge part of that—everything from knowing how to create a budget to getting a mortgage, planning for retirement, doing your taxes, and just having the knowledge and the confidence to make smart decisions with your money. Our bill is straightforward: it will update and improve DoD’s financial literacy training to better prepare servicemembers for the transition to civilian life and set up their families for success. This is something we should all be able to agree on—I’ll be working hard to get our legislation included as part of next year’s NDAA, and I’m hopeful we’ll be able to get it across the finish line.”

“Financial literacy is a cornerstone of financial readiness and thus, military readiness,” said Lt. Gen. Brian T. Kelly, USAF (Ret), president and CEO of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA). “While we need to take a hard look at how we are compensating our servicemembers, especially junior enlisted, we must also prioritize financial education that helps them make good choices and make the most of their money. MOAA supports the SMART Save Act of 2024 and thanks Senators Murray and Schmitt for their tireless support for those in uniform.”

“MFAN’s research consistently shows the connection between financial health and overall well-being. At a time when the economic landscape continues to evolve, personalized support and emphasis on those who may be most vulnerable to hardships is critical,” said Shannon Razsadin, President & Executive Director of the Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN). “We commend Senators Murray and Schmitt for remaining focused on the economic security of all those who serve and the critical role that family members play in supporting family finances.”


The SMART Save Act of 2024 would improve DoD’s financial literacy training to ensure that transitioning servicemembers have the tools they need to succeed in the civilian world. Specifically, the legislation:

  • Requires the development of a standard financial literacy curriculum across all military departments based on best practices in the financial services industry.
  • Shifts the focus from completing training modules to truly developing proficiency in financial literacy.
  • Prioritizes financial literacy classes that are held in person with fewer than 100 attendees or held as one-on-one financial counseling sessions, using computer-based methods only as a last resort.
  • Makes financial literacy classes and resources available to military spouses.
  • Increases access to retirement information, including how to contribute to military savings, leading to increased financial stability in the civilian world. 
  • Expands financial literacy training program requirements for servicemembers ranked E-5 and E-6, ensuring that more servicemembers receive this training before they move off base with their families.  
  • Requires a report on the effectiveness of the financial literacy training and counseling and recommendations for improvement, leading to a program that adapts to the world’s evolving financial environment.

A one-page summary of the legislation is HERE.

The full text of the bill is HERE.